ANITHISTAMINES, ALONE AND TOGETHER WITH ALCOHOL, IN RELATION TO DRIVING SAFELY

ANTIHISTAMINES ARE WIDELY PRESCRIBED, NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE HIGH INCIDENCE OF ALLERGIC REACTIONS, BUT ALSO ON ACCOUNT OF THE WIDE ACTIVITY RANGE OF THIS LARGE GROUP OF DRUGS. THE VARIOUS TYPES OF ANTIHISTAMINES CAN BE GROUPED ACCORDING TO THEIR 'ALTERTNESS RATIO' (SEDATIVE DOSE: THERAPEUTIC DOSE). EVIDENCE IS NOW ACCUMULATING TO INDICATE THAT THE DEGREE TO WHICH AN ANTIHISTAMINE MAY ADD TO THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL, AND BY ITSELF IS LIKELY TO AFFECT DRIVING SAFETY, IS PROPORTIONAL TO THE ALERTNESS RATIO OF THE DRUG. AS THE ENVIRONMENT OF MANY ADULT AMBULANT PATIENTS INCLUDING DRIVING AND SOMETIMES DRINKING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, A DOUBLE-BLIND EXPERIMENT WAS MADE TO DETERMINE THE JOINT EFFECT OF ETHANOL AND 3 RELATIVELY NEW ANTIHISTAMINES (WITH HIGH ALERTNESS RATIO) ON MEASURES OF SKILLED PERFORMANCE RELATED TO DRIVING ABILITY. HEALTHY VOLUNTEERS SERVED AS SUBJECTS (MEAN AGE 25.3 YEARS; MEAN WEIGHT 69.8 KG) AND WERE RANDOMLY ALLOTED INTO 4 GROUPS OF 8 SUBJECTS. ACCORDING TO THEIR EXPERIMENTAL GROUP, SUBJECTS RECEIVED EITHER 50 MG OF PHENIRAMINE P-AMINOSALICYLATE, 4 MG OF CYPROHEPTADINE HYDROCHLORIDE, 1 MG OF MECLASTINE, OR A PLABECO. TWO DOSES OF THE DRUGS WERE GIVEN, ONE AT NIGHT AND THE NEXT ON THE MORNING OF THE TESTING DAY. SUBJECTS WERE BROUGHT TO THE LABORATORY (HAVING BEEN PERMITED TO HAVE ONLY A LIGHT BREAKFAST), WHERE THEY RECEIVED THEIR SECOND DOSE OF DRUG OR PLACEBO. AFTER ALLOWING TIME FOR DRUG ABSORPTION THEY COMPLETED A MOTOR SKILL BATTERY. THIS INCLUDED SIMULATED DRIVING, PURSUIT ROTOR PERFORMANCE, A DOT TRACKING TASK AND A KEY TAPPING TEST. AFTERWARDS THEY WERE GIVEN 0.95 ML PER KG BODY WEIGHT OF ETHANOL, WHICH HAD TO BE DRUNK WITHIN 15 MINUTES. AFTER ALLOWING FOR ALCOHOLIC ABSORPTION, A BREATHALYZER TEST WAS TAKEN AND THE SUBJECTS REPEATED THE TEST BATTERY, AGAIN IN RANDOM ORDER. RESULTS SHOWED THAT NONE OF THE DRUGS, EITHER ON THEIR OWN OR IN COMBINATION WITH ALCOHOL, SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTED TEST PERFORMANCE. OF THE VARIOUS MEASURES TAKEN WITH THE DRIVING SIMULATOR THE EFFECT OF ALCOHOL (MEAN BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL OF 88 MG PER 100 ML) SHOWED A HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF STEERING ERRORS MADE. UNDER THESE EXPERIMENTAL CONDITIONS ONLY ALCOHOL ADVERSELY INFLUENCED PERFORMANCE; NO DRUG POTENTIATION DUE TO ALCOHOL WAS OBSERVED. /SRIS/

  • Corporate Authors:

    N/A

    ,   USA 
  • Authors:
    • Landauer, A A
    • Milner, G
  • Publication Date: 1971-10

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 127-39
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00224438
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Nat Safety Council Safety Res Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 3 2003 12:00AM